New lease on life for Old Townhouse Hotel

CEO of Neighbourgood, Murray Clark with the transformed Neighbourgood East City, previously Townhouse Hotel.

The old Townhouse Hotel has been transformed into a co-living and working space with units which can be leased short term.

The new R80 million space, called Neighbourgood East City, is set to open this month, followed by the R65 million Neighbourgood Reserve, which was formerly African Banking Corporation in Adderley Street.

The Townhouse Hotel closed its doors last year after 50 years of operation in the East City due to the impact of Covid-19 on the industry.

CEO and founder of Neighbourgood, Murray Clark, took over the same day, and his plan to turn the traditional hotel to a modern living and workspace offering will soon materialise.

Neighbourgood East City has 107 co-living suites, while Neighbourgood Reserve, which is under construction and is set to open in November, will have 35 co-living loft apartments.

African Banking Corporation in Adderley Street is being redeveloped into Neighbourgood Reserve.

The developments aim to provide flexible, fully furnished living and working spaces that have amenities such as on-site community managers and concierge services.

The units are aimed at young professionals who are looking for an integrated inner-city space with flexible lease terms, and that allows for maximum productivity and collaboration – with a sense of community thrown in for good measure, said Mr Clark.

“We are a neighbourhood-centric property development company. A sense of community drives everything that we do. We believe that thriving neighbourhoods are the lifeblood of our society and our mission is to bring them to life by offering opportunities for connected living.”

Each development has various communal spaces, and will also host regular events and networking opportunities once opened.

The flexible leases include three-, six- and 12-month terms as well as day/weekly passes for Neighbourgood workspaces. The rooms and workspaces are fully furnished “with all the essentials” – including wi-fi; smart TVs and weekly cleaning by the on-site team.

With the Townhouse development, Mr Clark said it was still important to remain true to the spirit of the former iconic hotel. “In its heyday, the Townhouse Hotel was the place to be. While Neighbourgood East City has a very different vibe, the spirit of the founder of the Townhouse Hotel will live on in the welcoming space we are creating.”

The former hotel owners, the Petousis family, are partners in the Neighbourgood East City development.

“The space is being repositioned, but we are working hand-in-hand with the family,” said communications manager, Kim Clark.

Ms Clark said members have access to facilities in any other Neighbourgood property.

Central City Improvement District (CCID) CEO Tasso Evangelinos said the development was a welcomed addition to the residential offering in the Cape Town CBD, especially as it provided a flexible accommodation option for upwardly mobile young professionals who were very at home in a vibrant central city.

“This buys into the digital nomad trend, which we believe is an exciting new market that is opening up in spite of the restrictions imposed by Covid-19.”

He said the CCID was excited about Neighbourgood’s keen focus on integrating members in the neighbourhood in which they found themselves living.

“This community focus bodes well for the CBD,” he said.